Michael Vick changed the game of football with his run-first approach to the quarterback position, and his unique style of play made him a significant threat in the NFL.
Vick's NFL career was anything but sunshine and daisies, as a handful of off-field issues in his prime put a damper on his legacy, but the impact Vick had on the sport remains.
Having officially retired in 2017, the former Atlanta Falcons star is adjusting to life after football. Despite some legal and money troubles, he still has the finances to live lavishly in retirement.
Early Life and College Career
Michael Dwayne Vick was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia to mother Brenda Vick and father Michael Boddie. Vick attended Homer L. Ferguson High School until it shut down after his freshman year. He then enrolled at Warwick High School and impressed enough to earn a college football scholarship to Virginia Tech.
While at Virginia Tech, Vick continued to impress on the ground. Across two seasons with the Hokies, Vick threw for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing for 17 touchdowns and nearly 1,300 yards.
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After setting an NFL quarterback record with his 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Michael Vick was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the first-overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
The Falcons traded up to draft Vick in a deal with the San Diego Chargers. He made his NFL debut against the San Francisco 49ers, and completed his first pass in a game against the Carolina Panthers.
Vick took over starting duties in Atlanta in his second NFL season, throwing 16 touchdowns, rushing for an additional eight, and earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He led the Falcons to the playoffs in 2002 where they beat the Packers in the Wild Card round but failed to advance past the Eagles in the Divisional Round.
The mobile quarterback made two more Pro Bowls during his Falcons tenure, in 2004 and 2005. He was named the cover athlete of EA Sports' Madden 04, and his character became the most broken and overpowered player in Madden history.
In 2006, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
On this day in 2007, Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his dogfighting operation. pic.twitter.com/dlw10o6CnC
— Sports Anniversaries (@SportsAnnys) December 10, 2015
Michael Vick was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL in 2007 after the Falcons quarterback pled guilty to federal charges of dogfighting. Despite being a first time offender, commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a harsh punishment to the football player.
Vick was the owner of Bad Newz Kennels, which was found to be a dogfighting ring, in which people would gamble on the outcome of dog fights, most commonly between pitbull terriers.
As a result of his involvement in the dogfighting operation, Vick served a 17-month sentence in a federal prison and was released by the Atlanta Falcons.
Following his release from prison, Mike Vick was a free agent and looking to make a comeback in American football. He got his opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles, signing a two-year deal with the franchise in 2009. He managed to make the 53-man roster and served as the backup to Donovan McNabb.
The Eagles traded McNabb to the Redskins, paving the way for Vick to take over starting duties after Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion. He went 8-3 in his 11 starts in 2010 and made the Pro Bowl as the NFL's leading vote-getter, ahead of Patriots' star Tom Brady.
Vick would play in Philly through the 2013 season, before signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets following the franchise's release of Mark Sanchez.
After starting just three games in New York, Vick joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015 for one final season before retiring in 2017 as an Atlanta Falcon.
Michael Vick's Net Worth
Prior to his suspension and arrest, Vick was one of the more marketable figures in the NFL. The star quarterback had endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, EA Sports, MusclePharm, Kraft and Powerade, among others.
Despite having been one of the world's highest-paid athletes at the time, Vick made a series of bad investments and faced a handful of lawsuits, some linked to real estate, which significantly drained his bank account.
Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, after falling $17.6 million in debt.
Remarkably, Vick successfully paid off his debt in full by 2017, having used his NFL comeback to help regain financial stability.
Vick also started a clothing line with Nike in 2012, V7, which helped him get back in the black, and following his retirement in 2017, he joined Fox Sports as an NFL analyst for the FOX NFL Kickoff show.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Vick is worth an estimated $16 million in 2020, a fairly substantial figure considering his legal troubles forced him to file for bankruptcy just over a decade ago.
While Mike Vick never won a Super Bowl throughout his controversial NFL career, he managed to leave a lasting impact on football and has made efforts to atone for his past mistakes.
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